Horchata de arroz - cold rice drink

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
Stephen Ceideburg
1 cup Rice
1 Piece (2 inches) true (Ceylon) cinnamon stick or
1 Piece (1 inch) U.S. "cinnamon" (see editor's note)
2 cups Boiling water
5 To 6 cups cold water
½ Lime, juice only
1 teaspoon Ground true (Ceylon) cinnamon or: *
½ teaspoon Ground U.S. "cinnamon" (see editor's note)
3 tablespoons To 4 tb sugar, or to taste

* preferably fresh ground in a spice grinder If you travel to Mexico, you will see many street stands selling only fresh cold beverages. Most are made from fresh fruit. This, which like the French orgeat must go back to some medieval Mediterranean original, is the mysterious white one that you will see in the glass jugs. It's one of my favorite drinks. My son Rodrigo always begs me to make this refreshing drink, which is still a favorite remedy for children with digestive upsets. Place the rice and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Add the boiling water and let soak until the water is white and milky. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until partly softened but not fluffed up, about 15 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick and let the rice cool, covered.

Working in several batches, purse the rice mixture in a blender or food mill. The mixture may be sticky and hard to work with; use the cold water a little at a time if necessary to thin. With a wooden spoon or pusher, force the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve (you can use more of the cold water to help rinse it through). Combine the strained pursed rice with the lime juice, ground cinnamon, and sugar to taste. Add the remaining cold water gradually until the horchata is the consistency of a not-too-heavy cream soup (use a little more if desired). Taste and add more sugar, lime juice, or cinnamon if desired, but the flavor should be delicate and slightly bland. Chill thoroughly and serve with ice.

Yield: About 1½ quarts.

Editor's note: Martinez says the U.S. product called cinnamon is not the same as the cinnamon, imported from Sri Lanka (Ceylon), that's sold in Mexico. The bark is thinner, and it's medium tan, not reddish brown. The Sri Lankan type also is known as soft-stick cinnamon. It may be available at some Mexican markets.

Recipe from "Food From My Heart" by Zarela Martinez. Naomi Kaufman Price writing in the Oregonian's FOODday, 1/12/93.

Posted by Stephen Ceideburg

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